Calling crafters and artists to contribute to Upton's dolls' house

Our excellent volunteers have been busy painting the doll's house at Upton House and Gardens

Upton House has issued an unusual appeal for furniture and household items. But volunteers who decide to lend a hand will certainly need a good eye for detail – they’ll be furnishing an exquisite dolls' house.

Following on from the huge success of Knitting for Victory – which saw Upton House set a Guinness World Record for the world’s longest knitted bunting – the House and Collections team was keen to launch another project designed to involve and inspire the local community.

The dolls' house when it first went on display in 2017
The empty doll house when it arrived in 2017
The dolls' house when it first went on display in 2017

This 1:12 scale representation of the National Trust property has 14 rooms in total. Six have already been decorated and furnished by 89 incredible volunteer makers – but there are still eight to go and more help is needed.

The team is appealing to volunteers to make replicas of key items, plus everyday household items including books, magazines, newspaper, rugs, bed linen, towels, plants, flowers, cushions, kitchen items and bathroom items.

And to complete the project – part of the ongoing Made to Measure initiative – the team at Upton House also need figures to populate the house, all dressed in authentic period clothing. The four rooms completed so far are Lady Bearsted’s bedroom, the dining room, entrance hall, a maid’s room and - most recently - Lady Bearsted's bathroom.

Meg Walker Hudson created this stunning 1:12 scale replica of one of the stained glass windows at Upton
A 1:12 scale replica of one of Upton's stained glass windows
Meg Walker Hudson created this stunning 1:12 scale replica of one of the stained glass windows at Upton

An update from the team

Volunteer coordinator Ellen Turnock has been impressed with the items they have received so far. She said: "The standard of workmanship for all of the items we have received to fill these rooms has been incredibly high and we are extremely grateful for all the time, effort and hard-work that has been put in by all of our makers."

One of our volunteers, Nigel Taylor, has done a fantastic job of installing LED strip lighting into each of the rooms in the Dolls House. Discreetly hidden behind decorative beading, the LEDs cast a warm light into all of the rooms making it easy to see the beautiful interiors. I think you will agree with me that the difference this has made to the project is incredible. Not only are the completed rooms lit beautifully, but the light shining out through the windows of the empty rooms is wonderfully intriguing…

See the miniature house all lit up
New lights have now been added to the miniature replica of Upton House
See the miniature house all lit up

Roll on Christmas 2019

With the support and recognition the project is now receiving across the miniature world, the team is confident that the doll’s house will be fully decorated and furnished for the original proposed completion date of Christmas 2019.

Once complete, the doll's house will be placed on display in the Picture Room. Michelle Leake, House and Collections Manager at Upton House, said: “We’re hoping this new project will add to the sense of belonging that the act of making creates for visitors, volunteers and staff alike.”

The Upton House volunteer doll’s house co-ordinators are on hand to offer any advice to visitors looking to make items, but unsure how to go about it. Volunteers can email for the list of items needed and to register that they will be making a piece, which will avoid duplication.

The email address is UptonDolls’

See for yourself 

Join us at Upton throughout the made-to-measure project (2017-2019) to see the rooms ‘dressed’ with your contributions.  The grand unveiling of the completed doll's house will be at Christmas 2019.  

Share your work!

Keep us up to date with the progress on the items you are making by posting pictures on our social media channels, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @uptonhouseNT 

Introducing the Made to Measure home

Step inside the made-to-measure home

Lord Bearsted made Upton his country home in 1927 and set about creating the perfect country residence for his family and growing art collection. Explore the fashionable tastes of the day and learn how to create a home made-to-measure.